In 1937, a number of enthusiasts met and decided to form what became known as The Holy Trinity Operatic and Dramatic Society, chaired by the Rev’d L. J. B. Snell, father of Col. Blashford Snell, the famous explorer. The first production was “Merrie England” , staged in the Holy Trinity Institute in October of that year. the following year, the Society produced ” The Gondoliers” with a cast of 50. Rehearsals for “Iolanthe” commenced in 1939 but were abandoned after the outbreat of WW2.
The group reformed in 1947 as the Hereford Gilbert and Sullivan Operatic Society, rehearsing for “The Gondoliers” which was presented from April 27th to May 1st, 1948 at the Garrison Theatre, Bradbury Lines under the baton of Arthur Cole, then Director of Music to the Cheltenham Corporation.
The Society has since performed all the well-known Gilbert and Sullivan operettas and other productions have included “The Arcadians”, “Bless the Bride”, “Brigadoon”, “The Gypsy Baron”, “La Belle Helene”, etc. Producers in the early years included several ex-members of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company including notably, Leslie Rands, Beryl Dixon and Thomas Round and the tradition of inviting professional and high quality producers continues to the present day, Martyn Harrison and Alistair Donkin being the most recent to take on that role.
From 1949 to 1962 the Society’s shows were staged at The Kemble Theatre, Broad Street and after its demolition, at the Regal theatre (now a bingo hall), the Garrison theatre and Belmont Abbey school. In 1979 the Society staged its first production at The Nell Gwynne Theatre, later renamed The New Hereford Theatre and later still redeveloped as The Courtyard
The Hereford G&S Society has formed strong links with Hereford’s twin town of Dillenburg, Germany and has hosted members of the Glück-Auf Choir here in Hereford as well as visiting Dillenburg on several occasions to perform shows.
The Society celebrated 65 years of bringing G&S to the people of Hereford and the Welsh Marches in 2012
|1949||The Mikado||1982||The Gondoliers|
|1950||Trial by Jury &H.M.S. Pinafore||1983||La Belle Helene|
|1951||Merrie England||1984||H.M.S. Pinafore|
|1952||Patience||1985||The Pirates of Penzance & The Mikado|
|1953||The Gondoliers||1986||The Sorcerer|
|1954||Tom Jones||1987||The Vagabond King|
|1955||The Mikado||1988||Princess Ida|
|1956||Trial by Jury & The Pirates of Penzance||1989||The Merry Widow|
|1957||The Yeomen of the Guard||1990||Die Fledermaus|
|1959||H.M.S. Pinafore||1992||The Gondoliers|
|1960||Ruddigore||1993||The Yeomen of the Guard|
|1961||Bless the Bride||1994||The Pirates of Penzance|
|1962||Brigadoon||1995||Orpheus in the Underworld|
|1964||The Yeomen of the Guard||1997||Trial by Jury & H.M.S. Pinafore|
|1966||The Sorcerer||1999||The Mikado|
|1967||The Mikado||2000||Merrie England|
|1969||Merrie England||2002||The Gondoliers|
|1970||Trial by Jury & H.M.S. Pinafore||2003||Patience|
|1971||Princess Ida||2004||The Merry Widow|
|1972||The Gondoliers||2005||The Pirates of Penzance|
|1973||The Pirates of Penzance||2006||The Yeomen of the Guard|
|1975||Die Fledermaus||2008||H.M.S. Pinafore|
|1976||Orpheus in the Underworld||2009||The Mikado|
|1977||The Mikado||2010||The Sorcerer|
|1979||The Yeomen of the Guard||2012||Iolanthe|
|1980||The Gipsy Baron||2013||The GondoliersTrial by Jury|